William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final
Hibernian 2-3 Aberdeen
Saturday, 22 April 2017, kick-off 12.15pm
Hibernian: Grant Holt (35), Dylan McGeouch (60)
Aberdeen: Adam Rooney (1), Ryan Christie (35), Darren McGregor (86 og)
Aberdeen are back in the William Hill Scottish Cup Final for the first time since 2000 and looking to win the trophy they last lifted in 1990.
It was a deflected Jonny Hayes shot which won a pulsating match in the 86th minute and the Aberdeen striker was thankful to see the ball hit the back of the net.
After the game, he said: “We had a bit of luck on our side today and it felt like my shot took a long time to go in.
“I’m just delighted to get through to the final, regardless of how we did it. We started off brilliantly and didn’t do ourselves justice in the second half although we got a lucky break which allowed us to progress.
“This could be our year. The final will be a tough game, regardless of who we get but we can be confident.”
The game was subject to a breathtaking start when Adam Rooney capitalised on a defensive error with only 12 seconds on the clock and the striker sensationally tucked the ball home.
Hibernian were slack in defence and Aberdeen made it 2-0 when Ryan Christie spotted a gap at the near post and whipped a free-kick beyond the clutches of Ofir Marciano.
With Hibernian struggling Neil Lennon brought on Grant Holt after 33 minutes in place of Fraser Fyvie and the former Norwich man delivered two minutes after coming on, heading in at the back post.
At half time Aberdeen led 2-1 and they brought on defender O’Connor after 58 minutes for Christie to prevent conceding another goal but it didn’t make a difference when Holt’s deft touch put Dylan McGeouch clean through on goal and he duly dispatched.
Hibernian dominated most of the second-half but with one of their only shots of the half, Jonny Hayes let fly with five minutes left on the clock and the ball hit the net following an unfortunate deflection off Darren McGregor.
Focus now turns to tomorrow’s semi-final between Rangers and Celtic with Jonny Hayes confident Aberdeen can triumph in the final, whoever the opponent, due to their resilience.
Hayes said: “A lot of people would have questioned us when it went back to 2-2 but we stood strong and I thought Joe Lewis kept us in the game.
“We’ve been the second best team in the country this year and hopefully we can go one better in the final.”
Hibernian: 50% Aberdeen: 50%
Shots on goal
Hibernian: 6 Aberdeen: 8
Hibernian: 14 Aberdeen: 11
Hibernian | Marciano, Gray, McGregor, Ambrose, Stevenson, Boyle, McGinn, Bartley, Fyvie (Holt, 33), McGeouch (Shinnie, 62), Cummings
Unused substitutes: Laidlaw, Keatings, Shinnie, Forster, Humphrey, Graham
Aberdeen | Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Taylor, Reynolds (McGinn, 68) McLean, Christie (O’Connor, 58), Rooney, Hayes, Jack (Captain)
Unused substitutes: Alexander, Pawlett, Stockley, Wright, Storey
Man of the Match: Graeme Shinnie